Tiko Kerr - Elegance in Fauvism
Saturday, May 25, 2019
My cheerful demeanour is because I am a survivor. I have
been given back my life. Same as if you rescue a dog from the SPCA. They turn
out to be the best pet imaginable because they face their imminent death.
Tiko Kerr on being alive
For more than a quarter of a century I’ve had the extreme privilege
of having the most playful, joyful mature and childlike relationship that I can
Tiko Kerr on husband Craig
Rowing is one of the most poetic and taxing experiences
whereby proceeding in one direction you
are watching the waters where you have just come from.
On May 8th a friend and I attended an opening and artist
talk at the Gordon Smith Gallery in North Vancouver.
Reframed: Painting and Collage by Tiko Kerr represented a
complete turnaround in another direction of the Kerr paintings he is so well
known for. Look up Fauvism and Surrealist Abstraction for info on his new
That Kerr had a one man show at a beautiful gallery and the
fact that I was sitting behind Ian Wallace marks for me two positive aspects,
one for me and one for Kerr.
It would seem that the stuffy (my opinion) milieu of
Vancouver art with Kerr onboard will no longer be so stuffy, remote and perhaps with a tad less
conceptual art (the kind you cannot buy and hang on your wall). That is good
for Kerr. For me it was a happy occasion to see a friend make it in our city
and to do it with grace, little incomprehensible art speak, low key, selfless joy, an elegant style and
most important, with his nose firmly at the same angle as the horizon.
The crux of the talk was to find out that in the last one and a half year (all the work in the show is from that output) he discovered his new
direction from his collages. Looking at his collages he saw them as leading to
the painting he subsequently worked on.
|My fave - Sea of Tranquility - 2017|
A Swansong with a Bang
Friday, May 24, 2019
|Jocelyn Morlock & Rodney Sharman|
A long time ago Andrés Segovia played a concert at the
Orpheum. My young daughter, not yet a teenager was studying the guitar. I took
her to the concert.
When the concert was over I told her to open the door on the
left, near the stage, and to go and see Segovia. This she did. Segovia explained
to her(in his lovely Spanish) that he had not said a word during his concert because he had a cold and
could barely speak. He gave my daughter a hug. My daughter to this day plays
the guitar and is a good sight reader.
For me that my daughter was able to see the great man
without any security prohibitions at the time, was somehow one of the charms of a city that was not too big for its britches.
To this day, even though our city has grown, access to
musicians in classical music or new music venues, is a given.
|William Rowson - VSO Assistant Conductor|
For a while the Stalag guards at the Chan Centre prevented
us from going back stage to chat with our musician friends. They have given up!
And access is not denied.
What all this means is that going to concerts in Vancouver
is a warm and personal endeavour where one is not separated by barriers except
for that important one (for me!) where musicians can do that unfathomable task
of being able to read music. But they all put on their pants, one leg at a
I have many friends in the
musical community of the city and I have had many a privilege when going back
stage for chats. One privilege I must boast about is that during a rehearsal of
the Pacific Baroque Orchestra at St. James on 10th
Avenue, I was
allowed by violinist and then Musical Director Marc Destrubé to lie on the
floor under the harpsichord for the duration.
And there was this most unusual one!
And so last Saturday, May 18 I knew I could not miss Jocelyn
Morlock’s (Composer in Residence at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for five
years) swan song performance at the Orpheum Annex.
The Orpheum Annex and the nearby Pyatt Hall represent the
future of classical and new music in our city.
My blog on the Orpheum Annex & Pyatt Hall
These two venues are smaller and
can adapt to all kinds of configuration and are ready for connection with any
kind of complex electronic/digital music. The Annex has a small bar and foyer
where more often than not you can hobnob with our city’s musicians.
|Composer and digital guru Keith Hamil - necessary for the performance of Korndorff's Amoroso|
On Saturday, before the concert, I was able to snap a photo
(took many as the two were quite demanding) of both Morlock and a previous
Composer in Residence, Rodney Sharman.
The concert featured two Sherlock compositions, Zart and
Icarus, landing. It also lined up some music by a couple of composers who
influenced and inspired her. One was Mozart’s Serenade No.10 for winds in B-flat
Major, K. 361/370a III Adagio. The other was Nicolai Kondorf’s Amoroso. Who was
to know that this Russian composer lived at one time in Burnaby and taught
The orchestra was a small one featuring musicians from the
VSO who got the short straw (they lucked out!) and did not have to play a
big concert at the Chan on the same day.
One of the musicians, was a retiree
from the VSO. This was harpist Elizabeth Volpé. Amoroso featured interesting and repetitive chords for her harp.
I was most happy to see my
favourite VSO violinist, the dashing, lovely and redhaired Karen Gerbrecht.
Also in the orchestra was VSO violist Andrew Brown
(the most handsome violist in town!).
At the interval I walked into backstage (nobody stopped me)
and I had a chat with Gerbrecht.
It was explained to us that the position of Composer in
Residence is not to promote the career of the composer (which probably does
occur anyway) but to keep the VSO musicians on their toes with music that is
brand new and may push the boundaries of musical conventions.
I am sure that after five years, Morlock wil not have any problem
obtaining commissions and that both she and Sharman (born in Biggar,
Saskatchewan) will go to bigger stuff.
|Morlock's signaturer footware |